Southland’s best heads north

by Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk 

After being trained by Nathan Williamson in all his starts, reigning Southland horse of the year Franco Santino is on the move, though it’s not known for how long.

The Christian Cullen six-year-old has won nine from 35, his last start being an 11th behind Vintage Cheddar on Show Day at Addington.

“He’s got hoof problems,” says Williamson “there’s a crack in his foot, it’s had some work but it’s nothing major.”

So to help sort him out the horse will be based indefinitely at the beach. He has headed north from Southland to Graeme Anderson and Mike Love at Westwood Beach, just outside Dunedin.

“He should be fit after Cup week,” says Graeme Anderson, “and we’ve put some new shoes on him so we will wait and see.”

“He’s a good genuine horse,” says Williamson, “he’s been placed in an Invercargill Cup and done well in the country cups.”

He was second in the Invercargill Cup behind Dadndave and won three races in the 2019-20 season, going on to be crowned Southland horse of the year.

His immediate future is up in the air.

“I’ll trial here somewhere once he’s settled and we’ll go from there,” says Anderson.

Williamson says he may or may not get the horse back once its hoof problems have been sorted and the options don’t finish there.

“He could race further afield, Australia or the USA.”

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